Reference Entry

Antequera

Clay Mathers

in Oxford Art Online


Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T003157

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District of Málaga, Spain, best known for its megalithic communal tombs of the later 4th millennium and the 3rd millennium bc. Located 2 km east of the town of Antequera and 70 m apart are Cueva de Menga and Cueva de Viera, while Cueva del Romeral lies 2 km to the north-east of these. Each tomb was partly recessed in a rock-cut trench and covered by a large, artificial mound. Cueva de Menga was first noted in 1675 and was excavated by Rafael Mitjana in 1842. It has a parallel-sided passage (8.7×2–3 m) leading to an ovoid chamber (16.25×2.2–5.4×3.2 m). The largest roof slab (6×8 m) weighs c. 170 tonnes. Engraved lines on the underside of the roofing slabs were used to position them accurately above the chamber and passage, and three pillars along the central axis of the chamber served to distribute the enormous weight of the roof. One orthostat in the passage is decorated with engravings of four anthropomorphic figures and a five-pointed star. Cueva de Viera and Cueva del Romeral were discovered by the ...

Reference Entry.  435 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Prehistoric Art

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